December 10, 2004

The Cosby education tour continues in San Francisco

Bill Cosby visited an award-winning inner San Francisco school yesterday, and gave his now-usual speech chastizing parents who fail their children.

San Francisco school chief Arlene Ackerman wrote a letter to Cosby, inviting him to see one of San Francisco's "dream schools," which are low-performing schools that have overhauled their approach to teaching, to greater results.

Cosby visited Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco's "poverty-stricken" Bayview-Hunters Point area yesterday.

After his visit, Cosby praised the school, but he stressed that it was parents -- not just the schools themselves -- who needed to step up to ensure their children beat the statistics. "Parents are 99 percent," he said. "School districts don't parent. They teach."
Ackerman said she was happy to have Cosby air his views, even though they are politically incorrect.

Cosby has been hopeful that people would get over their shock following his initial comments last spring, and that they would be more ready to be about the business of change for the better.

"I think we're past the furor part now," he said. "It's a movement now that needs to happen. ... It's time for people to just stop seeing themselves so much as victims, so much in poverty, and realize what education does and fight for it like you're fighting for your life -- and you are because that's what our children are."
It's well past time to be about the business. Well past time.

Posted by mhking at December 10, 2004 12:03 PM

You go, Bill.

So, even though Cosby's comments were politically incorrect his comments were welcome, eh? Ackerman should never have said that. Best she'd welcomed him without qualification of anything. America needs to hear what Bill Cosby has to say.

In China, where I presently am, folks know what poverty is, and they understand that education is the route out of it. If the parents had a hard life, the family expect the kid (often the first in his family to go to university) to pull himself and them out of the dumps. Not everybody is the brightest bulb, but dagnabbit! they all want to achieve success.

Posted by: Helen at December 11, 2004 09:20 AM

At what point do we stop referring to Bill Cosby as "politically incorrect" and start saying he is spreading the truth, the painful truth, despite policymakers and politicians who incorrectly construe them otherwise ?

Posted by: Neo at December 11, 2004 11:45 PM

I respect your opinion Helen, but I have to disagree. I too have spent time in China and the behavior I witnessed was suprisingly similar to the behavior that us "poor black folks" are exhibiting.

Posted by: Jonathan at April 11, 2005 08:09 PM

I agree with Mr. Cosby's comments. The last couple of years I taught middle school students math. It was truly amazing to see how many parents never showed up for a parent conference (even when I requested one). There was always however a quick response when it came to attending a dance or a fieldtrip. Parents of students who never passed a single reporting period in any subject would call and ask about why their child could not go on a fieldtrip or allowed to attend a dance. One student I suggested retaining, after many failed attempts to reach the mother, came to school 4 days after school had ended to see if her child could be promoted.

Posted by: Teresa Cuthbertson at July 12, 2005 06:06 PM
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